The big story from the 41st World Series of Poker as the tournament moves into its 27th day is that international star Phil Ivey, who did not seem to be creating fireworks in the many events he has entered, has fired up to win his eighth WSOP gold bracelet.
Continuing our daily reportage on the various events, Ayaz Mahood has emerged the victor in his endurance test of a heads up against Ernst Schmejkal in event 35, the $10,000 buy-in Heads-up No-Limit Hold'em World Championship.
Mahmood, who is a Texas resident, won nine consecutive heads-up matches over four tough days and against some of the world's best to take home his first bracelet and $625,682.
The two played a best of three format, with the first clash an epic heads up between Mahmood and Schmejkal that lasted for almost six-and-a-half hours - the third-longest in WSOP records. The second and decider was a lot faster as Mahmood used a significant chip advantage to despatch his opponent, obviating the need for a third match.
The two finalists survived an original stellar 256-player field that included formidable players like Tom Dwan, Andrew Lichtenberger, Issac Baron, Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Howard Lederer, Andy Bloch, Phil Ivey, Jonathan Little, Terrence Chan, Sorel Mizzi, Scott Clements, David Williams, Phil Gordon and Bertrand Grospellier.
Venessa Rousso looked like a surefire winner at one point, leading the final eight contestants, but it was not to be, and it was Mahmood who stood up from the table at 5am Tuesday to claim the victory.
Tuesday evening saw Day 3 action completed at level 23 in event 36 - the $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em competition, with the tenth spot elimination of Daniel Carbonari setting up the final table of nine, led by Sebastien Roy on 1,867,000; Timothy Beeman on 1,788,000 and Daniel Fuhs on 1,251,000.
38 survivors from an entry field of 3,102 returned to the tables Tuesday afternoon, chasing chip leaders John Clancy (774,000) and Josh Goldstein. The action was fast and furious, and the final table nine were reached in under five hours, with great players like Svetlana Gromenkova. John Clancy, Peter Traply and Josh Goldstein all falling by the wayside.
This week's winner attracting the most publicity was victorious in event 37 - the $3,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E., where Phil Ivey finally managed to nail down his eighth WSOP bracelet against truly top quality opposition.
The final table was like a who's who of top players, featuring Jeffrey Lisandro, John Juanda, Bill Chen, Kenneth Aldridge, Chad Brown, David Baker, Albert Hahn and Ryan Hughes; between them holding 18 WSOP gold bracelets and over $14 million in WSOP and circuit winnings.
Ivey ended a tough day by overcoming heads up opponent Bill Chen to claim fourth spot with Erik Seidel on the highly respected list of players who have won the most bracelets at the World Series.
Ivey was among the experienced and talented 25 surviving players who sat down on the third day of the H.O.R.S.E. competition. It appeared to be the stud games that gave him the best opportunities, and Ivey certainly despatched at least five of the final table players as the game progressed, and dominated the heads up to win the bracelet and $329,840.
26 players reported for a third day of excitement Tuesday afternoon in event 38, a $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold'em World Championship contest, with Peter Jetten leading a field that started Day 1 numbering 268 hopefuls.
Surviving along with Jetten were experts like Marco Traniello, Noah Boeken, Sandra Naujoks, Amnon Fillipi and Amit Makhija, although like Jetten none would still be standing by late evening Tuesday.
4 players were left at that stage with chip counts as follows:
Valdemar Kwaysser 3,730,000
Konstantin Bucherl 1,915,000
James Calderaro 1,650,000
Matt Marafioti 700,000
In the run-up to the final four, the eliminations occurred like this:
Dani Stern Eliminated in 5th Place ($161,934)
Tom Marchese Eliminated in 6th Place ($123,264)
Peter Jetten Eliminated in 7th Place ($94,394)
Blair Rodman Eliminated in 8th Place ($72,754)
Alexander Kuzmin Eliminated in 9th Place ($56,404)
In event 39, a $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em Shootout, a field of almost 1,400 players was down to 140 as Day 2 started Tuesday afternoon Vegas time.
Ten hours later the field was down to just 16, with the most recent three survivors advancing to the final including Michael Pesek, Annette Obrestad and Justin Scott.
Vladimir Schemelev on 260,000 currently leads the last 24 players left alive in event 40 - the $2,500 buy-in Seven-Card Razz competition, which attracted a field of 365 and late Tuesday night was well into Day 2.
The successful Russian player was being chased by Maxwell Troy (235,000) and Frank Kassela (208,000), with the most recent eliminations including previous main event champion Joe Hachem, Hasan Habib and Allen Bari.
160 players started Day 2 action Tuesday afternoon, with only 24 still in late night action as InfoPowa went to press.
Last year, event 41 - the $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better contest attracted 762 entrants, and official figures this week indicate that the event this year has improved on that at 847.
Among them are poker luminaries like Ari Engel, Scott Seiver, Barny Boatman, Barry Shulman, Erick Lindgren, Erica Shoenberg, David Williams, Andy Black, Kevin McPhee, Kathy Liebert, Justin Young, Jonathan Little, Bill Chen, Shannon Shorr, Perry Friedman, Lee Childs and Neil Channing.
Day 1 action started Tuesday afternoon and by late into the night had been completed, with 171 players left, headed by Mike Chappus on 133,400, Barry Greenstein (83,000) and Spencer Lawrence (79,500).
Source: InfoPowa News